Japan's Abe has chance to show true colors after big election win
By Linda Sieg
TOKYO | Sun Jul 21, 2013 5:15pm EDT
(Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling coalition scored a decisive victory in an election on Sunday -- so big that there are suspicions he will lose interest in difficult economic reforms and pursue his nationalist agenda instead.
The victory in the vote for parliament's upper house gives Abe a stronger mandate for his prescription for reviving the stagnant economy. Ironically perhaps, it could also give lawmakers in his own party, some of whom have little appetite for painful but vital reforms, more clout to resist change.
Public broadcaster NHK said early on Monday that Abe's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its partner, the New Komeito party, had won at least 74 of the 121 seats up for grabs in the 242-seat upper house.
Panama finds MiG fighter jets on North Korean arms ship
By Lomi Kriel
COLON, Panama | Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:32pm EDT
(Reuters) - Panamanian investigators unloading the cargo of a seized North Korean ship that carried arms from Cuba have found the two MiG-21 fighter jets the Cuban government had said were on board, the government said on Sunday.
Alongside the two supersonic planes, originally produced by the Soviet Union in the late 1950s, officials found two missile radar systems on board the Chong Chon Gang, President Ricardo Martinelli told reporters in the Atlantic port of Colon.
The discovery, which included cables and electrical equipment, was made inside containers on the ship Panama had feared might contain explosive material. None was found.
Taiwan a 'testing ground' for Chinese cyber army
By Michael Gold
TAIPEI | Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:11pm EDT
(Reuters) - Taiwan is the frontline in an emerging global battle for cyberspace, according to elite hackers in the island's IT industry, who say it has become a rehearsal area for the Chinese cyberattacks that have strained ties with the United States.
The self-governing island, they say, has endured at least a decade of highly-targeted data-theft attacks that are then directed towards larger countries.
"We've seen everything," said Jim Liu, the 28-year-old founder of Lucent Sky, a Taiwanese internet security company specializing in resolving dangerous software vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit in order to gain access to a system.
Candidates for governor of Virginia go on offensive in debate
By Gary Robertson
RICHMOND, Virginia | Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:51pm EDT
(Reuters) - Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli, running against each other for the Virginia governership, attacked each other on Saturday in their first debate, but both agreed the current governor should consider resigning over a gifts scandal.
Cuccinelli, currently attorney general of Virginia, called his opponent self-serving and McCauliffe fired back that the Republican was intolerant of gays and too socially conservative.
Both candidates agreed on one thing though - that current Virgnia Governor Bob McDonnell, a Republican, should consider resigning, as questions mount about gifts that McDonnell has acknowledged were given to his family by a business executive.
Boston mob boss trial watchers wonder: Will 'Whitey' talk?
by Scott Malone
Sun Jul 21, 2013 7:04am EDT
(Reuters) - For six weeks, James "Whitey" Bulger's trial has played out like a movie. The longtime Boston mob boss has angrily cursed in open court, his own lawyer has described him as a mobster, and a potential witness turned up dead on the side of a road.
As prosecutors prepare to wrap up their case in the next few days and hand it over to the defense, the biggest question on observers' minds is whether the 83-year-old defendant will raise the dramatic ante by taking the witness stand.
Bulger, whose story inspired the 2006 Academy Award-winning film "The Departed," emerged as one of Boston's most feared criminals in the 1970s and 80s. He ran a gang that prosecutors allege sold drugs, extorted bookies and murdered competitors, suspected informants and innocent bystanders.
Business and the Economy
SEC voted unanimously to pursue charges against SAC's Cohen: sources
By Sarah N. Lynch
WASHINGTON | Sun Jul 21, 2013 7:36pm EDT
(Reuters) - U.S. securities regulators were united in their decision to file civil charges against billionaire hedge fund owner Steven A. Cohen last week, in a high-stakes case that could result in Cohen being barred from the industry, people familiar with the case told Reuters.
The charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission against Cohen still fall short of what the SEC had hoped for.
The agency has been struggling to uncover evidence implicating Cohen with insider-trading, one of those people said.
Insight: Resigned to reform, Wall Street tries a different tack in DC
By Lauren Tara LaCapra and Douwe Miedema
Sun Jul 21, 2013 3:04pm EDT
(Reuters) - In March, as U.S. bank regulators were framing a new rule that would affect the $630 trillion derivatives market, JPMorgan Chase & Co sent five bankers from New York and London to Washington to raise some fine points about the impact of the financial reform.
In a jargon-laden, 23-slide presentation, the JPMorgan bankers walked regulators through the complexities of how their decisions would affect the arcane market, according to documents and a person familiar with the meeting.
On July 2, the U.S. Federal Reserve released the final rule. Of three requests made by JPMorgan - which were backed widely by other banks and lobby groups - regulators rejected the first, adopted the second and split the difference on the third.
Entertainment and Sports
Specter of Armstrong still hangs over Tour
By Julien Pretot
PARIS | Sun Jul 21, 2013 4:49pm EDT
(Reuters) - Chris Froome can take immense satisfaction from securing his first Tour de France title but the specter of disgraced Lance Armstrong and the sport's fight against doping still hangs over the race.
The Briton, emulating compatriot Bradley Wiggins last year, smashed the field in awe-inspiring fashion - his two brutal ascents in the Pyrenees and up the iconic Mont Ventoux reminiscent of dope cheat Armstrong's Tour dominance in the early 2000s.
While his rivals were left battling it out for second place long before the end of the three-week race, the Team Sky rider was facing questions over the sport's tainted past.
U.S. hammer El Salvador to reach Gold Cup semis
Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:40pm EDT
(Reuters) - Experienced forward Landon Donovan inspired another dominant United States performance on Sunday as the hosts routed El Salvador 5-1 to race into the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The Americans were rarely challenged in the tournament's opening stages and they carried their momentum to a ninth consecutive win.
The 31-year-old Donovan, who took a four-month sabbatical around the start of the year, rallied the team with a second-half goal and three assists.
'Hunger Games' ushers in era of dystopian young adult films
By Piya Sinha-Roy
SAN DIEGO | Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:05pm EDT
(Reuters) - Parents of morose teenagers be warned: the next big trend in films for young adults could make the mood at home even darker.
Vampires, werewolves and boy wizards are out; dystopia is in. Having seen the popularity of "The Hunger Games," movie studios are rolling out films that explore darker themes.
Summit Entertainment's "Divergent" and "Ender's Game" and Sony Pictures' "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" are all aimed at the lucrative audience of young adults.
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